June through August, 2023
The merrymaking begins as Door Shakespeare’s Producing Artistic Director, Michael Stebbins, returns for the fourth year to read select essays from Holidays on Ice, by beloved humorist David Sedaris, on Saturday, December 11, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, December 12, at 2 p.m. in the Björklunden Lodge, Baileys Harbor. The Door Shakespeare Reading Series is free and open to the public, with donations welcomed. Both thoughtful and playful, Sedaris’ stories are the perfect antidote to the heightened anxiety that the holidays can bring out in all of us.
Stebbins will share three essays. “The Cow and the Turkey,” a tender (no pun intended) story of barnyard animals who decide to share holiday presents by way of “Secret Santa.” The tenderness is also doused with Sedaris’ brand of holiday hot sauce, adding a special kick as only Sedaris can.
“Front Row Center with Thaddeus Bristol” brings the preeminent theater critic, Thaddeus Bristol, to Door County. Bristol reviews the latest in holiday theater fare playing at local private and public elementary schools. His reviews do take into account that he is reviewing performances by children, but that doesn’t hold him back from being candidly honest.
The third essay is a true heart-warmer, and one of Sedaris’ most popular. “Dinah, the Christmas Whore” introduces us to angry holiday shoppers, bustling mall cafeterias, the wildly eccentric Sedaris family, Christmas lights, a lit cigarette falling onto a carpeted floor of a moving automobile, thugs and robbers, and Dinah, a prostitute with a story to tell. At once raucous and thrilling, it is also a story that reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas.
“We all need a little David Sedaris during the holidays,” shares Michael Stebbins. “The first time I heard him reading ‘The Santaland Diaries’ on NPR in 1992, I was hooked. As an actor, my job is to stay out of Sedaris’ way, and let his wonderful writing cast its spell. His imagery is so vivid, his voice so identifiable, I think of myself as more of a conduit, which is a welcome challenge. There are so many who are familiar with and love his work, whether it is from listening to him on NPR, or reading his essays in ‘The New Yorker’ or one of his many books. And, if people aren’t familiar with his work, they should give it a try! Last year we presented these stories virtually, and we are really glad to be returning to beautiful Björklunden and reuniting with human beings.”
While Holidays on Ice is free and open to the public, donations are much appreciated.
Masks and proof of vaccination (or a negative Covid test within the last 72 hours are required).